Texas curriculum

Discussion in 'General Education' started by blazer, May 16, 2010.

  1. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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  3. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I teach Social Studies in Texas and there is no mention of this... I teach elementary school so I cannot speak to what happens in the middle and high school. But I can say that we are not promoting anything in the elementary except map location, history, and geography.
     
  4. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    May 16, 2010

    Not the Mayflower Compact! How dare you Texas?!

    Also:
    <<"They're trying to indoctrinate with American exceptionalism, the Christian founding of this country, the free enterprise system.>>

    That's a quote from their opposition... seriously?

    Finally, there was a special on Fox News today about education that covered this in depth. It was quite interesting to watch the proceedings and how this all came to be.
     
  5. silver rain

    silver rain Comrade

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  6. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    California moves to keep Texas curriculum out

    Members of the Texas BOE have stated that they're following a politically-motivated agenda. Any changes they make stay until the next time they review, in ten years.

    I'm not sure the extent to which the state-mandated curriculum affects actual instruction, but certainly this concerns me overall.
     
  7. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    If you don't agree with the doctrine in the curriculum can you refuse to teach it?
     
  8. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Isn't this the second thread you've started concerning blatant misinformation in the U.K. media concerning the U.S. education system?


    This particular article is titled, "Texas schools board rewrites US history."


    While you ask what is going on in America, I ask what is going on with your media and do they have any ethics?
     
  9. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    May 18, 2010

    Thank you.
     
  10. OedipaMaas

    OedipaMaas Rookie

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    Blazer is asking a fair question, though.

    I do find it very frightening that a group of business men, fundamentalists and local politicians (with nary an historian or educator on board!) have the power to revise the narrative of American history to further their political agenda.

    The headline may be sensational, but it's not wrong.
     
  11. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Excellent point, have you actually read the curriculum and looked at how the instruction has been changed?


    In short, is your comment based on the truth of how the teaching has actually been changed or are you simply responding to a reporter's spew?






    P.S. - In the name of avoiding extended conflict on this forum, this will be my last post to this thread.
     
  12. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    May 18, 2010

    I read through the elementary and high school curriculum with the proposed changes back in January. As I saw the changes, I found myself getting very upset over them. I don't agree with a majority of the changes, namely omitting the causes and effects of major historical events like the Great Depression and euphemizing terms.

    It's pretty evident that a bias is present. A few weeks ago the BOE met again to discuss these changes. Along with the BOE, a group of religious leaders from various beliefs came together to make a stand to keep ANY religion out of the curriculum in our public schools. I seriously hope that the curriculum doesn't pass as is.
     
  13. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    May 19, 2010

    The worrying thing is that in the UK we seem to be following your lead. The Government is set on allowing private individuals and organisations with dubious views to open their own schools. We have already gone part way down that route with the previous administration who have allowed a selection of religeous nutjobs to open their own schools and re-write the National curriculum. They are also allowing these groups to operate outside of the terms and conditions of normal employent regulations regarding teachers. On your point about our press, yes they can be very intrusive but perhaps we like it that way. After all we would not have found out about all then politicians stealing from us without it. The original article was in the Guardian, a pretty reliable source. If it had been the Daily Mail or the Sun then I could understand your concerns.

    I have to say that there is much I admire in your education system and it worries me that it may be used as a political or religeous football.
     
  14. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    May 19, 2010

    If this is misinformation are you not concerned about how your education system is being represented abroad?
     
  15. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    May 19, 2010

    Here are some quotes from the Chairman (now outgoing, but the majority of the board shares his opinions).

    – Texas State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy

    – Don McLeroy

    Don McLeroy



    I believe most teachers here would respect the opinions of experts in their fields. Based on a recent thread, I also suspect most here would refrain from introducing their own political views (or at least be very circumspect about it).

    And I seriously doubt any of the history teachers here would decide the most critically important aspect of analyzing the worth of a history textbook is to see how it covers Christianity and Israel, and Ronald Reagan.
     
  16. OedipaMaas

    OedipaMaas Rookie

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    May 19, 2010

    Well, I didn't comment on "the truth of how the teaching has actually been changed" since I'm not a teacher, I don't live in Texas and I have no idea how much latitude Texas social studies teachers have to diverge from the state standards (though if I had to take a guess, I'd wager that it varies wildly from one school or to another.)

    My comment was about the new standards, and I did read/ skim through them. I've also read other articles, in greater depth, from reputable sources. I'm not "simply responding to a reporter's spew," and I'm not sure why you are being so defensive. It's not impugning the American educators to discuss threats to and shortcomings of the system. In fact, it is in part because of my desire to be teacher that this issue is of particular concern to me.

    Also, for the OP, if you are interested reading more about U.S. history education, I highly recommend "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen.
     
  17. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    May 19, 2010

    Texas has a fair amount of influence over textbook content potentially because it is a very large state - and the publishers don't want to alienate them. California, also a large populous state, also has clout, too - which is why some state authorities have decried the TX proposed changes.

    I personally find social studies textbooks very limiting and stifling...most really good teachers will not rely too much on them, it's only one source of info. I love Loewen and his books - and the idea that you got to go beyond the textbooks and teach students histriography and context of how history is viewed.
     
  18. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    May 19, 2010

    God Bless Texas........... Even though I live in Colorado (the northern most province of Texas) I still love Texas..and I'm still Texan ..... No place like it.

    So what does this have to do with this thread..... probably nothing...:)
     
  19. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Why are you bringing this to us instead of questioning it for yourself????


    If you are American or Britt, you get used to foreign media misrepresenting you. It goes with the territory and there is too much spew to worry myself with.


    Those who are really interested in learning the truth will ask questions and look beyond the tabloids. Those who won't take the time to do that are a waste of my time.


    I served in Iraq, this is the LEAST of the lies that are being told of us and one of the easiest to see through if you are willing to take the time to look.


    Don't get me wrong, we certainly DO have our failures that should be looked at but you must take the time to look instead of believing the word of a journalist who is trying to tell a story instead of document the facts.
     
  20. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    I wasn't responding to you Oedipa. The OP has posted previous threads of this nature and claimed only to be a nuetral party passing along the news.

    He/she doesn't take a side or present an opinion, he/she just tries to stir the pot and instigate conflict. The OP is what is commonly referred to as a troll.
     
  21. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Troll? I've been here long enough to see the definition of a troll several times over... blazer does not sound like a troll to me whatsoever. I think he is a teacher who keeps an eye on the US, as what happens in the US tends to spread to Britain (as has been explained in previous posts).

    I'm actually interested in hearing about what this whole thing is about, and while you've said these are lies, you haven't made any attempt to clear them up.
     
  22. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    The link said that Texas is "rewriting US history". I will agree with you, it is impossible to prove a null hypothesis.


    I have read the Texas curriculum and I am yet to see where they have written history in a way that it is not currently documented.


    Perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps they are making up stories that have nothing to do with history and passing them off as true. It's hard for me to quote details when they haven't been shown to me in the first place.
     
  23. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Alright... here's my next question. It seems from what I've heard, that the slave trade would be renamed the “Atlantic triangular trade." Why exactly is this?

    I'll admit to being an outsider, but having just watched an interview on CNN where the anchor asked this very question of someone involved in writing these standards (or at least a spokesperson for them), he was unable to answer this question, and the fact that he evaded the question gave me cause for concern. Any perfectly reasonable explanation for this change?
     
  24. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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  25. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I know I've been judging too many debate tournaments when one of my first thoughts reading this was, "But the heg argument has been banned from debates."

    Some of those changes are a bit troubling. I would have a hard time teaching some of that with a straight face.
     
  26. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I would lose my job. I'm thankful that we use out-dated text or no text at all!
     
  27. ROE_Wedge

    ROE_Wedge Rookie

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    This is absolutely insane .. i do not think i need to explain why.
     
  28. mrduck12

    mrduck12 Companion

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    I've been reading about this, and I wish you and all the teachers in Texas good luck with it. May more sensible minds prevail somewhere along the line.
     
  29. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    this conversation is old - as we had it about 2 or 3 months ago......

    And it simply is not true - totally misconstrued. If you really WANT to know - go to the actual TEKS. There is nothing crazy about them.
     
  30. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Exactly - and that is exactly why people are trying to make this a huge deal. Because they know that Texas has a HUGE influence on what direction textbooks companies take...... Texas is a conservative state(for anyone who isn't sure about that) and there are many in other states that have a strong disdain for Texas and what we represent. However, we are responsible for educating OUR kids and cant help if textbook publishers look to our state.

    NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING about those new TEKS are incorrect. And, as far as I am aware, it is STILL the responsibility of the states to educate children. It's not in the federal government's hand for a reason - because we have 50 INDIVIDUAL states.

    As a Texas teacher I often question or disagree with little details of our TEKS. However, overall they make complete sense. We do not ask your permission or advice on how to best educate our kids and I would not dream of criticizing how your state/country educates your children.
     
  31. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    The truth is that the state can change the TEKS all the want, but until the TAKS test changes (or the soon to be EOC/STARR), nothing will change in the classroom.

    The real problem with the TEKS is that they are written by politicians, not educators, and the State Board doesn't see that as an issue.
     
  32. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    :yeahthat:
     
  33. JackTrader

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    May 21, 2010

    Well, maybe rewrite isn't the best word here. I think "whitewash" would probably be a better description on what seems to be going on here - the attempt to present American history to serve or promote American exceptionalism and ignore the warts.

    For example, it is accurate to present slavery as part of the triangular trade between the colonies, Africa and the West Indies, but it does our students a disservice to disguise it or downplay it.
     
  34. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Mmm, no one on the board seems to be using this as a defense. They claim to want to politicize education and teach from a conservative point of view. I take it from your other posts that you agree that the state may indoctrinate students into partisan politics. I don't believe most teachers believe they ought to be teaching a political POV, but perhaps I'm misconstruing and they only think they shouldn't teach their OWN POV? Maybe the state's "unofficial" POV is okay?

    This statement concerns me more than anything else on this thread, and I'm wondering if you're really considered it. It elevates state sovereignty over the freedom of speech -- is that really what you meant to do? You even added country. I can't possibly believe you're such a liberal relativist that you wouldn't criticize any country's educational system.
     
  35. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    nope, I meant exactly what I said. Country refers to the poster from England. I don't concern myself with how other countries educate their young. It's just not my business. And yes, as our founding fathers did, I believe the state should have the authority to determine what to teach its own children. It has been that way and, in my opinion it's the way it should be.



    And........by the way..... we HAVE ALWAYS indoctrinated our children in this country (not a bad thing). Having school children recite the pledge of alliance is a form of indoctrination. Promoting college attendance is indoctrination.

    Same thing, we have a "moment of silence" every morning after the pledge of alliance (to U.S. and Texas - of which BOTH include references to God). It's just the way we do things here. I certainly do not say all states should do the same, but I like it being that way here. It is no secret that TExas, on the whole, is largely conservative. Of course there are liberals here. But unfortunately for them conservatives run our state and are strongly supported by the voters- for better or worse. (I am not necessarily always in support of them).

    People without alot of knowledge grasp on to sensationalized headlines and drive it into the ground. It was said that Texas took Thomas Jefferson out of the curriculum - erased- that is totally wrong. It was removed from world history, not American history.But I have seen that headline several times. My advice is to actually read the new TEKS. Of course, then there wouldn't be room for much controversy.
     
  36. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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  37. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    May 22, 2010

    What next? A flat Earth?
     
  38. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    May 23, 2010

    In total agreement.

    Looks like the system is headed that way..
     
  39. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    That would be swell! Then, our jerk textbook committee might slide right off the edge...:lol:
     
  40. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Texas is not perfect... but neither is the UK..... You're "flat earth" comment wasn't necessary.

    God Bless Texas.........
     
  41. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Thanks Major - no place is perfect. I was really heated about this and then I had to step back and realize that it just makes people look bad when they stoop so low. I am totally done with this thread. It is a waste of my time. Good luck to everyone.


    And yes..... God Bless Texas.......and he has.....
     

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